New performing arts centre opens

IMPRESSIVE Hemsted Park arts centre

MUSIC and comedy are mainstays of the inaugural programme of Kent’s newest performing arts centre, opened at Benenden School under the name Hemsted Park.

When the season opens on March 25, some of the first artists on stage will be the BBC Big Band, jazz legends Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and TV quizzer-cum-comedian Paul Sinha.

Others to come are the improvisor Harry the Piano, violin quartet Stringfever and the London Film Music Orchestra – the latter performing the music of Hans Zimmer and John Williams.

Even before the formal start of the season, the centre’s 800 seat Hall and purpose-built theatre have already played host to public performances.

The bandleader of the Len Phillips Swing Orchestra, Joe Pettitt, said: “What an amazing room. “The whole setup is lovely and the sound quality in that room works a treat. It’s just a brilliant room to play in.”

The centre has also played host to the English National Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Hemsted Park’s inaugural season runs March 25 to June 25.

Tickets for these and other performances are available at

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